Template vs. Custom Designed Websites

By on 11/17/2020

A debate nearly as old as internet marketing itself. Everyone knows you must have a healthy website and online presence to have a successful business. But with new and innovative website creation and platform options popping up every day, the question remains: custom or template website? There are many variables to consider when deciding on the best approach for your company. 

Understanding your options  

When designing a website, there are two main options, custom or template-built websites. The differences can range from aesthetics to functionality to originality and everywhere in between. It boils down to whether you are looking to start from scratch to create a unique website or want to use a preexisting framework to build out your specific content.    

Not sure which is the best option for you? Here is a rundown of highlights of each and what you can expect during their respective processes.   

Template Websites  

For many businesses, throwing around tens of thousands of dollars and waiting for a custom website to be built is just not an option. Maybe you have a new company that is just starting up and does not have enough revenue. Or perhaps you need to have a website up as soon as possible and don’t have the time to go through design phases and wait for a custom website. Or maybe you just want a template website because you found one that you like. Whatever your reason, template websites have plenty of advantages and disadvantages, too.  


Often, the biggest reason people choose to get a template designed website is cost. Custom websites can become expensive, and template websites provide a great alternative.   

Various platforms offer free templates that you can build off of yourself with your own content. Usually, you simply have to pay a yearly hosting fee of around $150, and you are good to go. This option will limit what your site can do, but it’s a reliable option for those looking to get a website up and running without spending much.   

Working with a web design agency is always a good choice for those who want a more robust website. While it will be more expensive than a free site builder, getting a template design site from an agency is still highly cost-effective and provides you with a website that can do a lot more than merely showing some words.   

Speed is also a significant advantage for template design websites. Getting a custom-built website with unique layouts and designs can take anywhere from 90-120 days at least to complete. Template websites take most of the long work out, meaning you can get a pretty simple website up and running in half the time.   


While template websites offer plenty of upsides, there are some significant drawbacks, mainly being too conventional. The reason people buy custom websites is to stand out on a crowded platform and have something original. Unless you plan on devoting a lot of time, energy, and money to your template website, it will look like many other websites.   

Functionality also suffers in template websites. If you want a pretty standard landing page, template websites can be great, but if you need E-Commerce, an intuitive and well-designed user interface, or any other bells and whistles, a template website might not be for you.   

Custom Websites  

When people think of web design or web design agencies, they often think of beautiful, unique, robust websites created to do anything. Those people are thinking about custom websites.     


The ability for a website to be scalable and adaptable are major selling points for a custom website. If you need a platform that can grow and change with your business at a moment’s notice without losing its performance, a custom-built website is for you.   

Custom websites also typically are much more functional than template sites. Custom websites have hours and hours devoted to the back end to ensure every possible function happens smoothly, and every user visit is an intuitive and comprehensive experience. Users should be able to flow freely and easily through your website, knowing how to navigate what they are looking for and find it quickly. Custom websites offer unbeatable functionality and a high-quality user experience.  

And of course, custom websites are incredibly unique. Black Bear knows a thing or two about helping clients stand out in a crowded forest, and nothing separates you from the competition quite like a custom-designed website.   


The only real drawbacks of custom-built websites are price and speed. For a custom website, you should budget a minimum of $10,000-$15,0000 and at least 90-120 days. You are paying for a team of creative problem solvers, designers, developers, writers, and more to create something magical. That is a lot to ask! The investment is worth it if you can afford it both financially and time-wise.   

Black Bear Design Can Create High-Quality Websites for You  

Whether you are looking for a template or custom website, Black Bear will deliver a beautifully designed and highly functional website for you. Not sure which is right for you? Our team is happy to walk you through the options so you can make the best choice. Black Bear Design is a leading design and full-service agency dedicated to creating well-designed and highly functional websites for our clients to develop leads and make conversions. Our team works carefully across all areas of our agency, from writers to developers to designers, to make sure we create websites that exceed our clients’ expectations. Black Bear Design is ready to help take your marketing and advertising to the next level with our web design.  

Contact us today to learn how we can help you stand out in the website forest. 

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